As you may know, I am notoriously shy about sharing my sketchbooks, doodles, test pieces and so on with an 'audience' (that would be you I'm referring to, dear readers). I'll share 'works in progress' via my Instagram and Twitter pages, but they tend to be pieces I'm already fairly confident about and/or are well on the way to being completed. What I don't tend to show publicly are the gazillion 'failures' I throw away, or the thumbnail sketches or test pieces that lead to the start of a new series or a finished painting. I get all, "Noooo, it's like people seeing me naked!" about it, and then I start worrying that I can't possibly show anyone anything that isn't perfect, because well, the world might end or something.
You understand what I'm saying, right? I can't be the only person who feels like this.
But the thing is; I love it when other artists do this. Nothing excites me more (well, maybe a few things do) than being able to look inside artists' sketch books; seeing exactly where their ideas came from. There's also something beautiful about rough sketches before the imperfections have been ironed out - they have a certain energy.
This weekend I took some time to really try to push myself to use a different colour palette. I know I've been harping on about this for ages, blah, blah, blah...but I'm finally truly doing something about it. The result was this piece below...
Magic Sea 1
Original painting in watercolour, gouache and acrylic ink on paper. 8x10"
© Natasha Newton 2014 / Available here
Pretty different for me, isn't it? But I am now officially in love with colour, and I'm not afraid to use it. It's like a fresh breeze blowing through the studio, and it seems like the perfect time to experiment with light, bright, uplifting colours with Spring just around the corner. So many things have held me back from moving on with the new ideas in recent months and I've experienced an internal struggle that has stopped me from making the work I want to create. I've spoken a little about this before, so we won't go into detail about it again.
Now I'm going to break through another barrier. What I'm about to do is my equivalent of standing here naked. I'm going to show you just where Magic Sea came from. It came from this:
This is essentially me playing around with watercolour paint. Seeing what the peachy-pink looks like as a background, how well the bright yellow would work layered over the top, and finally I went a bit mad with the Payne's Grey paint; making little triangular shapes and dotting it about here and there in a random fashion. (You can also see how I thought the little triangles looked like teepees and attempted to turn one into a teepee. And then a tent somehow appeared too). It's rough, it looks a bit like a six year old child painted it, but for some reason I love it. And I think I love it because it helped me to realise that I could actually go somewhere with these colours and shapes - and the Magic Sea series was born.
So now you know a little about how this idea came about. Stay tuned for more.